France Passes Climate Law

France has passed a law that requires the nation to curtail its carbon emissions significantly. According to Climate Progress:

“The long-anticipated law will halve the country’s energy consumption by 2050, cut nuclear power production by a third by 2025 (from 75 percent of electricity mix to 50 percent), and increase renewable energy to 32 percent of total energy consumption by 2030. It also requires France to reduce carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030 compared with 1990 levels, in part by reducing fossil fuel consumption by 30 percent in 2030 compared with 2012. The emissions reduction requirement is in line with the E.U.’s 28-country commitment to cut emissions at least 40 percent by 2030.”

France is the world’s second-largest producer of nuclear energy, with the U.S. holding the number one spot.

These targets, both for renewable energy production and emission reductions, are ambitious, but France has not identified any clear mechanisms by which to reach them, at least not yet. In particular, reductions in energy use will need to be made, and behavioral energy efficiency programs may be useful. Hopefully, appropriate action will follow this law’s passing so that France can effectively lead on climate change mitigation as it prepares to host COP 21 in December.

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